I am the oldest in my family. My parents were lucky to have perfection on their first try. Any normal couple would stop right there, afraid that they had used all the good genes on one child. But my parents had another, terrified for nine months that she would be worse than me. She is no Bre, but she is OK. She is my sequel, not quite as good as the original, but still entertaining. (I love you Shannon!) And that is what I have decided to blog about today, the fear of failure. Not matter how much I pretend to be confident and tease others, I am just as insecure (if not more) than everyone else.
As I am coming down from my post novel high, I am trying to get myself to focus on my next idea. But I am having some trouble making time to write. I can always come up with an excuse not to. And while my house is now noticeably cleaner, I feel ashamed. After long nights of soul searching I have realized and I am scared. Too afraid to work on my new story. I worry endlessly about not being able to finish my next novel, and that makes me unable to finish my novel. Even now, I am procrastinating by writing this blog instead. I am hoping by writing this, I will convince myself that there is nothing to be afraid of. And, if I manage to help someone else going through the same thing, that is just an added bonus!
I will admit, I do have some anxiety issues in my everyday life. Especially social anxiety and fear of failure. Funny how that crosses over into my writing! Starting this new novel makes me nervous. I am afraid that I won’t complete it, or that my idea is worse than my first idea. This one has a much more serious tone and I am worried without the veil of humor, my story won’t be interesting. I spend more time being anxious about failure than I do actually writing. This is a surefire way to fail at everything. After finishing my first novel, I have more expectations for myself as well as thinking others have higher expectations. Don’t even get me started on publishing. Most people hear I have written a novel and immediately ask about my publishing plans. I feel that if I am never published they will look down on me. In reality, most people are just amazed I have written anything! There isn’t as us vs. them ideology. Most people are genuinely happy for me and want to see me succeed. By not writing because I am scared that they will think less of me when I fail, I am ignoring why I started writing in the first place. I need to just buckle down and get started because I know as I fall in love with my story, these fears will melt away. Or at least become manageable. Each day I would come home to my husband and either hate or love my novel. It switched every day. So I don’t think I will ever become confident and in love with every word I write, but who wants to be perfect? The fun is in the adventure.
I just need to remember; an unwritten story is worse than a bad first draft. The story in my head that is partially formed will not magically become amazing without my hard work. By overcoming my fear of failure and being vulnerable in this aspect of my life, I may grow in others. So here I am, speaking to all my other new writers out there. We are afraid, we don’t want to fail. But if you feel like giving up, ignore that little voice. Every piece written is practice for your masterpiece.
Do you struggle with fears of failure? What tips do you use to get over your fears?